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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Lehane, Dennis: Shutter Island | Main | Baxter, John: A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict »

Blanc, Nero: The Crossword Murder

  

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Berkley © 2000, 320 pages [amazon]
4 stars

In this series opener of the pseudonymous Nero Blanc's crossword mysteries, private eye Rosco Polycrates investigates the murder of crossword editor Thompson Briephs. Briephs is a scion of the local aristocracy, the son of imposing patrician Sara Briephs and the nephew of her brother, democratic senator Hal Crane. Briephs is also a bit of a loon. Eschewing his family's more traditionally tasteful lifestyle, Briephs lives alone on an island in a house that was built to his specifications, a labyrinthine, red-walled replica of an ancient Minoan palace. This is unlikely in the extreme, of course, but it does provide an excuse for numerous classical references in the book, including a quotation from Sophocles' Ajax: "Silence gives the proper grace to women."

Eschewing his family's more traditionally tasteful lifestyle, Briephs lives alone on an island in a house that was built to his specifications, a labyrinthine, red-walled replica of an ancient Minoan palace.The character quoting Sophocles with disapproval is a crossword editor herself, Thompson Briephs's counterpart in a rival newspaper. Anabelle Graham is beautiful and intelligent, capable of reciting a list of four-letter Greek goddesses even in trying circumstances, and she is, unfortunately for Rosco, married. As the solution of Briephs's murder depends on the solution of a series of crossword puzzles--anticipating his demise, Briephs left clues--Belle becomes involved with Rosco's investigation and interested in the private eye himself.

Although The Crossword Mystery strains credibility in its description of Briephs's island home, the book is a good read, and the hesitant flirtation between Rosco and Belle is fun to watch. Crossword enthusiasts in particular will enjoy the book: it includes six puzzles for readers to solve along with Belle, among them Harrison Briephs's posthumous cryptics.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.